To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Genetic mutations of fused in sarcoma (FUS) causing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may disrupt mRNA splicing events. For example, the FUS c.1394-2delA variant was reported in two western ALS patients, but its molecular mechanism is unclear. In this study, we aim to investigate FUS splice site mutations in Chinese ALS patients.
Sanger sequencing was used to identify FUS splicing mutations in Chinese ALS patients. We combined a deep learning tool (SpliceAI), RNA sequencing, and RT-PCR/RT-qPCR to analyze the effect of FUS c.1394-2delA mutation on RNA splicing and expression. AlphaFold was used to predict the protein structure of mutant FUS. In transfected cell lines, we used immunofluorescence to assess cytoplasmic mislocalization of mutant FUS protein.
We identified a de novo FUS splice acceptor site mutation (c.1394-2delA, p. Gly466Valfs*14) in one Chinese sporadic ALS patient, which is linked to exon 14 skipping, and upregulated total FUS mRNA expression. The FUS splice site mutation was predicted to be translated into a truncated protein product at C-terminal. In vitro studies revealed that the FUS mutation increased cytoplasmic mislocalization in both HEK293T and SH-SY5Y cells.
We identified a de novo FUS splicing mutation (c.1394-2delA, p. Gly466Valfs*14) in 1 out of 233 Chinese ALS patients. It caused abnormal RNA splicing, upregulated gene expression, truncated FUS translation, and cytosolic mislocalization. Our findings suggested that FUS splice site mutation is rare in Chinese ALS patients and extended our knowledge of molecular mechanisms of the FUS c.1394-2delA mutation.
We report that vertical vibration with small amplitude and high frequency can tame convective heat transport in Rayleigh–Bénard convection in a turbulent regime. When vertical vibration is applied, a dynamically averaged ‘anti-gravity’ results that stabilizes the thermal boundary layer and inhibits the eruption of thermal plumes. This eventually leads to the attenuation of the intensity of large-scale mean flow and a significant suppression of turbulent heat transport. Accounting for both the thermally led buoyancy and the vibration-induced anti-gravitational effects, we propose an effective Rayleigh number that helps to extend the Grossmann–Lohse theory to thermal vibrational turbulence. The prediction of the reduction on both the Nusselt and Reynolds numbers obtained by the extended model is found to agree well with the numerical data. In addition, vibrational influences on the mean flow structure and the temporal evolution of Nusselt and Reynolds numbers are investigated. The non-uniform characteristic of vibration-induced ‘anti-gravity’ is discussed. The present findings provide a powerful basis for studying thermal vibrational turbulence and put forward a novel strategy for actively controlling thermal turbulence.
To investigate the association between folate levels and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) risk during the whole pregnancy.
In this retrospective cohort study of pregnant women, serum folate levels were measured before 24 gestational weeks (GW). GDM was diagnosed between 24th and 28th GW based on the criteria of the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups. General linear models were performed to examine the association of serum folate with plasma glucose (i.e. linear regressions) and risk of GDM (i.e. log-binomial regressions) after controlling for confounders. Restricted cubic spline regression was conducted to test the dosage–response relationship between serum folate and the risk of GDM.
A sigle, urban hospital in Shanghai, China.
A total of 42 478 women who received antenatal care from April 2013 to March 2017 were included.
Consistent positive associations were observed between serum folate and plasma glucose levels (fasting, 1-h, 2-h). The adjusted relative risks (RR) and 95 % CI of GDM across serum folate quartiles were 1·00 (reference), 1·15 (95 % CI (1·04, 1·26)), 1·40 (95 % CI (1·27, 1·54)) and 1·54 (95 % CI (1·40, 1·69)), respectively (P-for-trend < 0·001). The positive association between serum folate and GDM remained when stratified by vitamin B12 (adequate v. deficient groups) and the GW of serum folate measurement (≤13 GW v. >13 GWs)
The findings of this study may provide important evidence for the public health and clinical guidelines of pregnancy folate supplementation in terms of GDM prevention.
Late Palaeozoic igneous rock associations in response to subduction, accretion, and final closure of the eastern Palaeo-Asian Ocean play a significant role in understanding the geodynamic evolution of the southeastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt. Previous studies have identified a Permian arc magmatic belt associated with the southward-dipping subduction of the eastern Palaeo-Asian Ocean along the Solonker–Changchun suture zone. The genetic mechanism and associated geodynamic settings are of great importance in deciphering the evolution of the eastern Palaeo-Asian Ocean. This paper presents zircon U–Pb–Hf isotope and whole-rock geochemical analyses for a suite of magmatic rocks including the early Permian diorite porphyrites (ca. 281.0 Ma), andesites (ca. 276 Ma) and rhyolites (ca. 275 Ma) in the Kulun region. The diorite porphyrites and andesites have high SiO2 and total alkali contents, and low MgO contents and Mg no. values, with enrichments in large ion lithophile elements and depletions in high-field-strength elements. These geochemical characteristics, together with low-Sr and high-Yb contents, a weak concave-upward shape of middle rare earth elements and negative Eu anomalies, suggest that these intermediate igneous rocks were generated by partial melting of amphibolitic lower crust at a crustal depth of 30–40 km. The rhyolites have heterogeneous isotopic compositions, with ϵHf(t) values and TDM2 ages of –20.8 to +0.5 and 3578∼1494 Ma, implying that they were likely derived from partial melting of a mixed source dominated by recycled ancient crust with minor juvenile crustal materials. The rhyolites show potassic affinity with relatively high K2O and very low Na2O, which was attributed to liquid immiscibility of felsic magma and subsequent limited fractional crystallization of plagioclase. The regional igneous associations, metamorphic events, and coeval sedimentary rocks along the Solonker–Changchun suture zone indicate that the early Permian igneous rocks were formed in an active continental arc environment in response to southward subduction of the eastern Palaeo-Asian Ocean.
The subduction model of the Neo-Tethys during the Early Cretaceous has always been a controversial topic, and the scarcity of Early Cretaceous magmatic rocks in the southern part of the Gangdese batholith is the main cause of this debate. To address this issue, this article presents new zircon U–Pb chronology, zircon Hf isotope, whole-rock geochemistry and Sr–Nd isotope data for the Early Cretaceous quartz diorite dykes with adakite affinity in Liuqiong, Gongga. Zircon U–Pb dating of three samples yielded ages of c. 141–137 Ma, indicating that the Liuqiong quartz diorite was emplaced in the Early Cretaceous. The whole-rock geochemical analysis shows that the Liuqiong quartz diorite is enriched in large-ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and light rare-earth elements (LREEs) and is depleted in high-field-strength elements (HFSEs), which are related to slab subduction. Additionally, the Liuqiong quartz diorite has high SiO2, Al2O3 and Sr contents, high Sr/Y ratios and low heavy rare-earth element (HREE) and Y contents, which are compatible with typical adakite signatures. The initial 87Sr/86Sr values of the Liuqiong adakite range from 0.705617 to 0.705853, and the whole-rock ϵNd(t) values vary between +5.78 and +6.24. The zircon ϵHf(t) values vary from +11.5 to +16.4. Our results show that the Liuqiong adakite magma was derived from partial melting of the Neo-Tethyan oceanic plate (mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) + sediment + fluid), with some degree of subsequent peridotite interaction within the overlying mantle wedge. Combining regional data, we favour the interpretation that the Neo-Tethyan oceanic crust was subducted at a low angle beneath the Gangdese during the Early Cretaceous.
The aim of the present study was to compare the rate of preterm birth (PTB) and growth from birth to 18 years between twins conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and twins conceived by spontaneous conception (SC) in mainland China. The retrospective cohort study included 1164 twins resulting from IVF and 25,654 twins conceived spontaneously, of which 494 from IVF and 6338 from SC were opposite-sex twins. PTB and low birth weight (LBW), and growth, including length/height and weight, were compared between the two groups at five stages: infancy (0 year), toddler period (1–2 years), preschool (3–5 years), primary or elementary school (6–11 years), and adolescence (10–18 years). Few statistically significant differences were found for LBW and growth between the two groups after adjusting for PTB and other confounders. Twins born by IVF faced an increased risk of PTB compared with those born by SC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 8.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] [3.19, 21.13], p < .001 in all twins and aOR 10.12, 95% CI [2.32, 44.04], p = .002 in opposite-sex twins). Twins born by IVF experienced a similar growth at five stages (0–18 years old) when compared with those born by SC. PTB risk, however, is significantly higher for twins conceived by IVF than those conceived by SC.
Late Mesozoic igneous rocks are important for deciphering the Mesozoic tectonic setting of NE China. In this paper, we present whole-rock geochemical data, zircon U–Pb ages and Lu–Hf isotope data for Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks from the Tulihe area of the northern Great Xing’an Range (GXR), with the aim of evaluating the petrogenesis and genetic relationships of these rocks, inferring crust–mantle interactions and better constraining extension-related geodynamic processes in the GXR. Zircon U–Pb ages indicate that the rhyolites and trachytic volcanic rocks formed during late Early Cretaceous time (c. 130–126 Ma). Geochemically, the highly fractionated I-type rhyolites exhibit high-K calc-alkaline, metaluminous to weakly peraluminous characteristics. They are enriched in light rare earth elements (LREEs) and large-ion lithophile elements (LILEs) but depleted in high-field-strength elements (HFSEs), with their magmatic zircons ϵHf(t) values ranging from +4.1 to +9.0. These features suggest that the rhyolites were derived from the partial melting of a dominantly juvenile, K-rich basaltic lower crust. The trachytic volcanic rocks are high-K calc-alkaline series and exhibit metaluminous characteristics. They have a wide range of zircon ϵHf(t) values (−17.8 to +12.9), indicating that these trachytic volcanic rocks originated from a dominantly lithospheric-mantle source with the involvement of asthenospheric mantle materials, and subsequently underwent extensive assimilation and fractional crystallization processes. Combining our results and the spatiotemporal migration of the late Early Cretaceous magmatic events, we propose that intense Early Cretaceous crust–mantle interaction took place within the northern GXR, and possibly the whole of NE China, and that it was related to the upwelling of asthenospheric mantle induced by rollback of the Palaeo-Pacific flat-subducting slab.
This study aimed to evaluate to what extent the different interval times between trophectoderm (TE) biopsy and vitrification influence the clinical outcomes in preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) cycles. Patients who underwent frozen embryo transfer (FET) after PGT between 2015 and 2019 were recruited. In total, 297 cycles with single day 5 euploid blastocyst transfer were included. These cycles were divided into three groups according to the interval times: <1 h group, 1–2 h group, and ≥2 h group. Blastocyst survival, clinical pregnancy, miscarriage, and ongoing pregnancy rates were compared. The results showed that, in PGT-SR cycles, survival rate in the ≥2 h group (96.72%) was significantly lower than in the <1 h group (100%, P = 0.047). The clinical pregnancy rate in the ≥2 h group was 55.93%, significantly lower than in the <1 h group (74.26%, P = 0.017). The ongoing pregnancy rates in the 1–2 h group and the ≥2 h group were 48.28% and 47.46%, respectively, significantly lower than that in the <1 h group (67.33%, P < 0.05). The miscarriage rate in the 1–2 h group was 18.42%, significantly higher than that in the <1 h group (5.33%, P = 0.027). In PGT-A cycles, the clinical pregnancy and ongoing pregnancy rates in the <1 h group were 67.44% and 53.49%, respectively, higher than that in the 1–2 h group (52.94%, 47.06%, P > 0.05) and the ≥2 h group (52.63%, 36.84%, P > 0.05). In conclusion, vitrification of blastocysts beyond 1 h after biopsy significantly influences embryo survival and clinical outcomes and is therefore not recommended.
We carry out direct numerical simulations of turbulent Rayleigh–Bénard convection in a square box with rough conducting plates over the Rayleigh number range $10^7\leqslant Ra\leqslant 10^9$ and the Prandtl number range $0.01\leqslant Pr\leqslant 100$. In Zhang et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 836, 2018, R2), it was reported that while the measured Nusselt number $Nu$ is enhanced at large roughness height $h$, the global heat transport is reduced at small $h$. The division between the two regimes yields a critical roughness height $h_c$, and we now focus on the effects of the Prandtl number ($Pr$) on $h_c$. Based on the variations of $h_c$, we identify three regimes for $h_c(Pr)$. For low $Pr$, thermal boundary layers become thinner with increasing $Pr$. This makes the boundary layers easier to be disrupted by rough elements, leading to the decrease of $h_c$ with increasing $Pr$. For moderate $Pr$, the corner-flow rolls become much more pronounced and suppress the global heat transport via the competition between the corner-flow rolls and the large-scale circulation (LSC). As a consequence, $h_c$ increases with increasing $Pr$ due to the intensification of the corner–LSC competition. For high $Pr$, the convective flow transitions to the plume-controlled regime. As the rough elements trigger much stronger and more frequent plume emissions, $h_c$ again decreases with increasing $Pr$.
Early replacement of a new central venous catheter (CVC) may pose a risk of persistent or recurrent infection in patients with a catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI). We evaluated the clinical impact of early CVC reinsertion after catheter removal in patients with CRBSIs.
We conducted a retrospective chart review of adult patients with confirmed CRBSIs in 2 tertiary-care hospitals over a 7-year period.
To treat their infections, 316 patients with CRBSIs underwent CVC removal. Among them, 130 (41.1%) underwent early CVC reinsertion (≤3 days after CVC removal), 39 (12.4%) underwent delayed reinsertion (>3 days), and 147 (46.5%) did not undergo CVC reinsertion. There were no differences in baseline characteristics among the 3 groups, except for nontunneled CVC, presence of septic shock, and reason for CVC reinsertion. The rate of persistent CRBSI in the early CVC reinsertion group (22.3%) was higher than that in the no CVC reinsertion group (7.5%; P = .002) but was similar to that in the delayed CVC reinsertion group (17.9%; P > .99). The other clinical outcomes did not differ among the 3 groups, including rates of 30-day mortality, complicated infection, and recurrence. After controlling for several confounding factors, early CVC reinsertion was not significantly associated with persistent CRBSI (OR, 1.59; P = .35) or 30-day mortality compared with delayed CVC reinsertion (OR, 0.81; P = .68).
Early CVC reinsertion in the setting of CRBSI may be safe. Replacement of a new CVC should not be delayed in patients who still require a CVC for ongoing management.
Suicide attempt (SA), which is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, is common in major depressive disorder (MDD) but its prevalence across epidemiological studies has been mixed. The aim of this comprehensive meta-analysis was to examine the pooled prevalence of SA in individuals with MDD.
A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Science and Cochrane Library from their commencement date until 27 December 2017. Original studies containing data on prevalence of SA in individuals with MDD were analyzed.
In all, 65 studies with a total of 27 340 individuals with MDD were included. Using the random effects model, the pooled lifetime prevalence of SA was 31% [95% confidence interval (CI) 27–34%], 1-year prevalence was 8% (95% CI 3–14%) and 1-month prevalence was 24% (95% CI 15–34%). Subgroup analyses revealed that the lifetime prevalence of SA was significantly associated with the patient setting, study region and income level, while the 1-month prevalence of SA was associated with only the patient setting.
This meta-analysis confirmed that SA was common in individuals with MDD across the world. Careful screening and appropriate interventions should be implemented for SA in the MDD population.
This study examined the mediating effects of future social expectations and interpersonal distrust on the relationship between individual relative deprivation and intention to rebel. Data were gathered from 807 people from multiple occupational backgrounds in a municipality in southwest China. Structural equation modelling showed that individual relative deprivation predicted intention to rebel directly and also that it predicted intention to rebel indirectly via negative future social expectations, interpersonal distrust, and a chain mediating effect of negative future social expectations and interpersonal distrust. These results highlight the importance of the associations between future social expectations and interpersonal distrust with intention to rebel in people who report relative deprivation. The findings also indicate that prevention and intervention programs related to relative deprivation and intention to rebel in China are worthy of further research.
Spirituality is what gives people meaning and purpose in life, and it has been recognized as a critical factor in patients’ well-being, particularly at the ends of their lives. Studies have demonstrated relationships between spirituality and patient-reported outcomes such as quality of life and mental health. Although a number of studies have suggested that spiritual belief can be associated with mortality, the results are inconsistent. We aimed to determine whether spirituality was related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea.
For this multicenter study, we recruited adult advanced cancer inpatients who had been admitted to seven palliative care units with estimated survival of <3 months. We measured spirituality at admission using the Korean version of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-sp), which comprises two subscales: meaning/peace and faith. We calculated a Kaplan-Meier curve for spirituality, dichotomized at the predefined cutoffs and medians for the total scale and each of the two subscales, and performed univariate regression with a Cox proportional hazard model.
We enrolled a total of 204 adults (mean age: 64.5 ± 13.0; 48.5% female) in the study. The most common primary cancer diagnoses were lung (21.6%), colorectal (18.6%), and liver/biliary tract (13.0%). Median survival was 19.5 days (95% confidence interval [CI95%]: 23.5, 30.6). Total FACIT-sp score was not related to survival time (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.981, CI95% = 0.957, 1.007), and neither were the scores for its two subscales, meaning/peace (HR = 0.969, CI95% = 0.932, 1.008) and faith (HR = 0.981, CI95% = 0.938, 1.026).
Significance of results
Spirituality was not related to survival in advanced cancer inpatients in Korea. Plausible mechanisms merit further investigation.
The space fractional coupled nonlinear Schrödinger (CNLS) equations are discretized by an implicit conservative difference scheme with the fractional centered difference formula, which is unconditionally stable. The coefficient matrix of the discretized linear system is equal to the sum of a complex scaled identity matrix which can be written as the imaginary unit times the identity matrix and a symmetric Toeplitz-plusdiagonal matrix. In this paper, we present new preconditioners based on Hermitian and skew-Hermitian splitting (HSS) for such Toeplitz-like matrix. Theoretically, we show that all the eigenvalues of the resulting preconditioned matrices lie in the interior of the disk of radius 1 centered at the point (1,0). Thus Krylov subspace methods with the proposed preconditioners converge very fast. Numerical examples are given to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed preconditioners.
The present study was performed to identify the genotype of a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy family and investigate the clinicopathogenic characteristics and prognostic features of relevant genetic abnormalities. Target sequence capture sequencing was performed to screen for pathogenic alleles in a 32-year-old female patient (proband). Sanger sequencing was carried out to verify the results. Sanger sequencing was also performed on other family members to identify allele carriers. A survival analysis was carried out using published literature and our findings. We found that the proband and her son harboured a Gly716Arg sequence variant of the β-myosin heavy chain. Neither the proband’s father nor the mother were carriers of this sequence variant; thus, the mutation was classified as “de novo”. Further survival analysis revealed that female patients appear to have a longer life expectancy compared with males. Our study may provide an effective approach for the genetic diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
An epigenetic mechanism has been suggested to explain the effects of the maternal diet on the development of disease in offspring. The present study aimed to observe the effects of a maternal high-lipid, high-energy (HLE) diet on the DNA methylation pattern of male offspring in mice. Female C57BL/6J mice were fed an HLE diet during gestation and lactation. The genomic DNA methylations at promoter sites of genes in the liver, mRNA and protein levels of selected genes related to lipid and glucose metabolism were measured by microarray, real-time PCR and Western blot. The results indicated that the percentage of methylated DNA in offspring from dams that were fed an HLE diet was significantly higher than that from dams that were fed a chow diet, and most of these genes were hypermethylated in promoter regions. The nuclear protein content and mRNA levels of hypermethylated genes, such as PPARγ and liver X receptor α (LXRα), were decreased significantly in offspring in the HLE group. The results suggested that the DNA methylation profile in adult offspring livers was changed by the maternal HLE diet during gestation and lactation.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.
Fusion of nucleoli or nucleolus precursor bodies (NPBs) has been observed during somatic cell interphase and pronuclear development of human zygotes; however, the underlying mechanism is unknown. NPB fusion and its regulation by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and maturation-promoting factor (MPF) were studied in activated mouse oocytes. Small NPBs appeared about 4 h after ethanol activation, and took about 1.5 h to fuse into a large NPB, which persisted for about 10 h before disappearance. Analysis of the temporal windows for kinase action indicated that a high MAPK activity during the first 2 h and a low MPF activity during the first 3–4 h after activation were essential for subsequent NPB fusion. A preactivation decline in MAPK activity was associated with decreased NPB fusion following activation of aged oocytes. While MAPK inactivation by regulator U0126 prevented NPB fusion in oocytes activated by ethanol or 5 min Sr2+ treatments, it had no effect on oocytes fertilized or activated by 6 h Sr2+ treatment. In most cases, while rates of pronuclear formation did not differ, rates of NPB fusion differed significantly between different treatments. Our results suggest that: (i) the MAPK and MPF activities at the initial stage of activation regulate NPB fusion after pronuclear formation; (ii) pronuclear assembly and NPB fusion are two separable events that might be controlled by different mechanisms; and (iii) high MAPK activity and low MPF activity at the initial stage of activation is essential for NPB fusion when only one calcium rise is induced by ethanol, while inhibition of MAPK activity does not affect NPB fusion when the repetitive intracellular Ca2+ rises are induced after fertilization.
Progenies derived from rice (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica) plants pollinated by Oenothera biennis exhibited numerous morphological and developmental traits. Some variant individuals appeared in generation D2. From generations D3 to D6, a large number of variants were observed, showing distinct variable traits including giant embryos. Statistical analysis on D6 lines showed significant differences between progenies and their rice parental line in several main traits, including plant height (49.2–164.5 cm), panicle number (12.1–38.2), panicle length (20.3–30.3 cm), length of sword leaf (13.8–57.5 cm), leaf width (11.1–25.2 mm), grain number of main panicle (142.0–367.0), percentage of seed setting (0.8–99.0%), 1000-grain weight (19.7–33.8 g) and time from germination to panicle emergence (90.0–108.0 days). Most of the variable coefficients were above 20% (the highest was 40.8%). Through pedigree selection of these plants, genetically stable lines were obtained, which are useful for rice breeding. Results from amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis showed that several rice lines contained extensive genetic variations, which included disappearance of rice parental bands and/or appearance of novel bands.